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PM Srettha’s vision for Thai airports and aviation services

Written by World Events

Making Suvarnabhumi international airport one of the world’s top 50 by the end of this year and one of the 20 top airports within five years is a dream of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.

He was speaking about his government’s vision to Transport Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit, Deputy Transport Minister Manaporn Charoensri and top executives of Airports of Thailand Public Company, as well as executive from several airlines, at Government House on Friday.

The prime minister said that his objective is to turn Thailand into the region’s aviation hub and he believes in the country’s potential to achieve that goal, adding that Thailand must first admit that there are problems which need to be addressed before the goal can be achieved.

He said that the airports in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong are ranked higher than Suvarnabhumi, even though they have not upgraded in recent years. He warned that, without any action to address the problems, the current 68th ranking of Suvarnabhumi airport may drop further.

A new passenger terminal, known as SAT 1, was the vision of the government 17 years ago. It was partially opened last year, will be fully operational in the second quarter of this year and will enable Suvarnabhumi to accommodate an additional 45 million passengers per year, providing a total capacity of 60 million passengers per annum and 90 departing and arriving flights hour, said the prime minster.

He said he that he also aims to upgrade the airport to accommodate 150 million passengers a year by the end of 2030 and resolve the problem of long queues at immigration checkpoints in six months.

The prime minister said his government also plans to improve the facilities at Don Mueang airport, by building a new terminal for international passengers, to accommodate 50 million passengers a year, an increase from from today’s 30 million, adding that the car park will also be expanded to accommodate 1,000 vehicles in the next three months, by moving the car park reserved for airport staff to the Thai Airways International building.

Airports in Phuket, Phang-nga and Krabi, as well as secondary airports in other regions, will also be upgraded, along with the development of catering and aircraft maintenance services.

The prime minister said that Thai Airways International needs to improve in various respects, including aircraft, flight management and ticketing systems going online, adding that THAI should be able to become the region’s third best airline.

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